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THE AGRA CAUAL.                                                     21
money-lenders ; bnt the far greater number are split up into infinitesimal frac-
tions among the whole village community. Owing to this prevalence of the
Bhaiyachiiri system, as it is called, the small farmers who cultivate their own
lands constitute a very large class, while the total of the non-proprietarj
classes is proportionately reduced. A decided majority of the latter have no assured
status, but are merely tenants-at-will. Throughout the district^ all the land
brought under the plough is classified under two heads,—-first, according to its
productiveness; secondly, according to its accessibility. The fields capable of
artificial irrigation—and it is the supply of water which most influences the
amount of produce—are styled chd/ti, all others kJtdki; those nearest the village
are known as Mrd, those rather more remote as manjlid, and the farthest away
'barhd* The combination of the two classes gives six varieties^ and ordinarily
no others are recognized, though along the course of the Jamnna the tracts
of alluvial land are, as elsewhere, called khddar—the high sterile banks are
bdngar, and where broken into ravines behxr; a soil exceptionally sandy is
Ihury sand-hills are ptith, and the levels between the hills pulaj.
The completion of the Agra Canal has been a great boon to the district*
It traverses the entire length of Western Mathura^ passing close to the towns
of Kosi, Sabar, and Aring, and having as its extreme points HatMna to the
north and Little Kosi to the south. It was officially opened by Sir William
lluir on the 5th of March, 1874, and became available for irrigation purposes
about the end of 1875, by which time its distributaries also had been con-
structed. Its total length from Okhla to the Utangan river at Bihari below
Fatihabad is 140 miles, and it commands an area of three-quarters of a million
acres, of which probably one-third—that is 250,000 acres—will be annually
irrigated. The cost has been above £710,000, while the net income will be
about £58,000, being a return of 8 per cent. It will be practicable for boats
and barges, both in its main line and its distributaries, and thus, instead of the
shallow uncertain course of the Jamuna, there will be sure and easy naviga-
tion between the three great cities of Delhi, Mathura, and Agra, One of the
most immediate effects of the canal wiH probably be a large diminution of the
area under bajra and joar, which, by reason, of their requiring no artificial irriga-
tion, have hitherto been almost the only crops grown on much of the land. For,
* It is exactly the same in Russia. " All the arable land of the commune is divided Into
three concentric zones, which extend round the village: and these three zones are again
divided into three fields according to the triennial arrangement of crops. More regard is
paid to proximity than to fertility, as this varies very little in the same district in. Russia.
The zones nearest the village are alone manured."—Lavefcyt's primitive Property.
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